Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Homeschool Crew Review: Middlebury Interactive Languages

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
Middlebury Interactive Languages offers online Spanish, French, Chinese, and German languages at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.  We recently had an opportunity to use and review Middle School German I.
Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
Middle School German I, for grades 6-8, is split up into two semesters each with 90 days of lessons.  You can choose to purchase 1 semester at a time for $119 each or both semesters for $238.  You also have the option to purchase the courses with teacher support for $294 for one semester $588 for both.  The courses are online courses and nothing needs to be downloaded to your computer.  Once you purchase the course, your login is emailed to to you and you can access your course from any computer.  The courses are self paced and expire one year after your purchase date.  

Middle School German I teaches the language by focusing on 4 key areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Each unit teaches a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, reading and listening activities, speaking and writing activities, cultural presentations and activities to reinforce vocabulary and grammar.  Students will learn to speak and respond in conversations, become familiar with vocabulary and grammar, and learn about German culture.  The activities and instruction in this course is equivalent to the first semester of High School German I.

Each semester of the course is split into 8 units with each unit containing 10 lessons. Quizzes and tests are also given throughout the course.  The first semester contains the following units:

Unit 1: Greetings
Unit 2: School, Alphabet
Unit 3: Descriptions and Colors
Unit 4: Countries and Numbers
Unit 5: Telling Time
Unit 6: Regular Verbs
Unit 7: Irregular Verbs
Unit 8: Days, Months, Seasons
Unit 9: Year 1 Midterm

The second semester contains the following units:

Unit 10: Hobbies and Pastimes
Unit 11: Food
Unit 12: Food Continued
Unit 13: Family
Unit 14: Places
Unit 15: Animals
Unit 16: Shopping
Unit 17: Weather
Unit 18: Year 1 Final

Each day when you log in the course picks up where you left off.  Each lesson goes through a variety of activities, listening, speaking, matching, reading, and more.  As the activities are completed a check mark appears by that activity.  

Parents can see the grade book that shows the grades for the quizzes and tests or you can see all of the coursework your child has completed.

My 12 year old, 7th grade son has been using Middle School German I 4 days per week for the last several weeks, completing one lesson per day.  This was not my first review of Middlebury Interactive Languages.  In 2015 I reviewed Elementary Spanish I, Grades 3-5 with another one of my children.  He really enjoyed the Spanish program and I looked forward to this opportunity for Alex to use the German program.  My husband was born in Germany and Alex has an interest in different languages and cultures.  

I like that the program is so easy to use and requires no teaching at all from me, since I have no experience at all in the German language.  I love all of the built in review and the inclusion of learning about different parts of the German culture.  We liked the variety of activities and the ability to be able to hear the language being spoken.  

The course is challenging.  I actually almost chose the elementary course for him because he has no German background but I was afraid he would think it too babyish. Alex is not strong in English grammar or writing so attempting to do these things in German has given him a bit of a struggle at times.  He has had to redo several activities and has been frustrated when he has not done as well on graded assignments as he wished he had.  But, he has made a lot of progress since he started and will continue on through the course. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click here.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 8

It was a very, very busy week!  And it went by entirely too fast!  This post is a bit late but better late then never.

Week 8 in our Homeschool

P.E.: 2 days of Family Time Fitness and one morning we just rode bikes.

Bible: The memory verse was Matthew 5:12.  We read about Greenland in Window on the World, George Mueller in Hero Tales, and read Matthew 5:27-42.

Read Aloud: For our morning read aloud we finished Cameron Townsend.  We read 3 chapters of The Incredible Journey for our afternoon read aloud and started reading Kneeknock Rise for our evening read aloud.

Poetry: We started memorizing Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore.  This may take a few weeks!

E.C.C.: We finished up Canada this week.  We read some facts about Canada, did a crossword puzzle, and watched some videos on Niagara Falls and the some of the daredevils that have walked over the falls and gone over in  a barrel. For the science portion we read about plant and animal life and relationships among living things.  Our vocabulary word was continental divide.  I had intended to make some Canadian recipes to finish off the week but ran out of time.

Exploring Creation with Astronomy: We finished up the chapter on the moon.

Language Arts: Christian and Anthony wrote their final copy of their friendly letters.  Lily started a new list of "ff" words.  Nick completed several pages in his sentence diagramming book.  We did not get to Fix It! Grammar this week.

Spelling/Reading: In AAS Level 3 the boys completed Step 9.  In AAR Level 4 they completed lessons 22,23, and 24 .  In AAR Level 2 Lily completed lessons 42,43, and 44.

Math: Nick completed lesson 7 in MUS Geometry.  Alex completed 3 lessons in Teaching Textbooks 7 and Lily, Christian, and Anthony completed 3 lessons in Math Lessons for a Living Education.

MFW Creation from A to Z: Emmie finished the unit on "u'" for "us."  She made her badge, completed her cut and paste paste, blend ladder page, sound discrimination page, and drawing page. We also talked about the 5 senses.

All American History and God's Design in Nature: Nick completed lessons 27-29 in history and days 31-33 in science.

Other Activities this Week: 

Monday: Alex and Christian both had soccer games.

Tuesday: Lily and Emmie had gymnastics.

After that Christian and Alex had soccer and Nick had youth all at the same time.

Wednesday was Kid's Club.

Thursday I went and got my hair done (haven't done that in years!) and then cleaned and did laundry for the rest of the day.

Friday my parents arrived from Florida.  We met Chelsea and Cody for lunch, did some quick shopping, came back to the house and made decorations, went to the community center and decorated and had a wedding rehearsal.

Saturday was the wedding.

Sunday we had church and Chelsea and Cody came back to visit with mom and dad.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 7

Week 7 in Our Homeschool

P.E.: We did one day of yoga and 3 days of Family Time Fitness.

Bible: The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:11.  We read about Garifuna in Window on the World.  In Hero Tales we read about William and Catherine Booth.  We read from Matthew 5:11-26.

Read Aloud: We read 5 chapters in Cameron Townsend.  We read 3 chapters in The Incredible Journey for our afternoon read aloud.  We finished Matilda for our evening read aloud and started Kneeknock Rise.

Poetry: We started memorizing Whole Duty of Children by Robert Louis Stevenson.

E.C.C.: We started learning about Canada this week.  We read some facts about Canada in Children's Atlas of Our World.  We labeled the provinces of Canada and completed our flag worksheets.  We watched a short video on the northern lights.  We also watched a short youtube video about Cananda that I found on a list that another homeschooler recommended, but did not care for some of the language and attitude of the host so we will not be watching any more of those.  In science we read about long term changes, food chains, scavengers and decomposers.  The art activity was to do an Ivory soap carving.

Science: We started the chapter on the Moon.

Language Arts: Nick started the Sentence Diagramming book from Critical Thinking.  Anthony and Christian did lesson 5 in Fix It! Book 2.  They also learned about and wrote a friendly letter.  Lily learned about alphabetizing in Jolly Grammar.

Spelling/Reading In All About Reading Level 2 Lily completed lessons 40 and 41.  In AAS Level 3 the boys completed Step 8.  In AAR Level 4 they completed lessons 18,19,20, and 21.

Math: Alex completed 4 lessons in Teaching Textbooks 7.  Nick completed lesson 6 in MUS Geometry.  Christian, Anthony, and Lily completed 4 lessons in Math Lessons for a Living Education.

MFW Creation from A to Z:  Emmie finished up Turtle by making her turtle badge and a paper plate turtle.  We read The Tortoise and the Hare.  She started "U" for Us.  She completed her picture card page and we read through an Usborne picture book on the different systems in the body.

All American History and Discovering God's Design in Nature: Nick completed lessons 23-26 in History and completed lessons for 27-30 in science.

Other Activities this Week

Monday night Christian had a soccer practice and Alex had a game.

Tuesday the girls had gymnastics, Nick had youth, and Christian had a game.

Wednesday we had Kid's Club.

Thursday it rained and we got to stay home :).

Friday we went to try and program the robot.  There was an issue with a bad wire though and didn't get very far.

Saturday was another stay at home day.
Emmie had to help build the tree stand

Sunday the sweet, sweet, ladies from my church had a bridal shower for Chelsea.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Homeschool Review Crew: Online Christian Filmmakers Academy

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}
Over the last several weeks we have had an opportunity to use and review Online Christian Filmmakers Academy from Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc.
Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}
Ken and Zack Lawrence, a father/son team with filmmaking, producing, acting, and directing experience have been operating the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp since 2007, a week long camp to give those interested in filmmaking hands on training.  In 2012 they started offering their online component, Online Christian Filmmakers Academy to their camp students and recently have made the course available to the public.
There are 5 different modules in the course:
The Camera- This module has 6 lessons: Introduction to the Camera, DSLR's and Lenses Part 1, DSLR's and Lenses Part 2, Frame Rate, ISO and Shutter Speed, Tripods and Camera Support, 
Cinematography- There are 15 lessons in this module covering items such as: color temp and balance, hard vs. soft light, types of light, lighting accessories, using light, painting with light, framing, outdoor lighting, depth of field, jibs an dollies, green screen, and setting up an interview.
Sound- There are 6 lessons in this module covering topics such as: sound equipment, microphone, field recorders, location recording, ADR and Foley.
Pre-Production- This module had 5 lessons: Introduction to Pre-Production, The Story, Writing the Screenplay, Pre-production paperwork, and Assemble the Team.
Production- The 5 lessons in Module 5 include: The Crew, Set Hierarchy, Set Etiquette, Directing, The Slate, and Filming Step by Step.
Each of the lessons has a video ranging anywhere from around 5-30 minutes in length.  There are also downloads for some of the lessons.  At the end of each module you will find a module quiz.  More content will be added throughout the year. 

The Online Christian Filmmakers Academy cost is $299 for a 12 month subscription.  The subscription covers anyone living in your household.  From now until November 30th, 2016, you can use the coupon code FALLCREW16 to receive $100 off.  

Earlier this year my boys learned how to make StopMotion movies.  They have had a lot of fun with this media and I thought that they would enjoy this filmmaking course.  We have been very impressed!  The Online Christian Filmmakers course is packed full of information.  It doesn't assume you have any previous knowledge so it is perfect for a beginner, but it is so well paced it would also be good for those that have some knowledge and want to learn more. The video segments are not very long.  You can move through the course at your own pace, watching as many or as few segments in one sitting as you choose.  They show examples of everything they are talking about in the lessons.  You do not have to have  special  equipment to take the course.  Of course the reason for the course is to  put what you have learned into practice and they give plenty of suggestions and options for basic and advanced equipment.  They even include extras such as downloadable plans to make your own PVC Shoulder Rig after viewing Module 1 Lesson 6.  

Quizzes are included after each module.  The program does not store your grade.  There is so much information given in each lesson, I wish they would add review questions to the end of each lesson or maybe every couple of lessons to help better retain everything that is taught.  The program does track your progress through the lessons (a little check mark appears beside each lesson you have viewed) and you do have the ability to watch the lessons multiple times.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homeschool Review Crew: MyFreezEasy

* this post contains affiliate links
MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}
My hardest part of the day is when it is time to cook supper.  It has already been a long and busy day and more then likely there are evening activities we still need to get to.  Figuring out what to feed everyone is stressful. After tossing a quick meal on the table and running out the door, I get to return home to piles of dishes in the sink. I was very excited  to make some changes to our supper routine with MyFreezEasy.  We have had an opportunity to review the MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership.   Our review was for the Premium Annual Membership

MyFreezEasy is a subscription service that you can choose to pay for monthly or annually.  There are two different plans to choose from.  The basic plan costs $7 a month or $77 dollars a year.  The premium costs $10 a month or $95 a year.  Both plans give you access to 8 meal plans a month, traditional assembly video, and highlights videos for all plans.  The premium plan also gives you the ability to adjust serving sizes, create you own meal plan, customize existing meal plans, and store your favorite recipes in "your favorites" section.

MyFreezEasy allows you to put 10 meals in your freezer in about an hour.  At the beginning of the month, the new recipes for the month are added.  Every month has all new recipes. Each meal plan gives you the recipes, shopping lists, assembly details, labels, gluten and dairy free options, and videos. Each meal is doubled so most of the meal plans have you preparing 5 different meals with the exception of the 20 meal plan which has you preparing 10 different meals. You  have access to 8 different meal plans:

Traditional-mix of  different types of meals
Gluten Free Plan- completely gluten free meals including sides
Slow Cooker Plan-all slow cooker meals
Clean Eats Plan-all clean ingredients
20 Meals Plan-mix of different types of meals
All Chicken Plan- all meals use chicken
All Ground Beef Plan-all meals use ground beef
All Pork Chop Plan-all meals use pork chops or pork tenderloin

I tried to do once a month cooking many years ago because I loved the idea of having a freezer full of meals, but I found the process exhausting and was not that impressed with the meals that I made.  I was very interested in trying the MyFreezEasy plan.  The first thing I loved about this plan was the ability to customize my own meal plan.  I have some dietary sensitivities and some of the children are picky eaters.  I have tried meal plan subscriptions before but ended up not being able to eat many of the meals.  I was so thankful to be able to choose my own recipes.  And there was a lot to choose from!

I decided I was going to to make 2 different customized meal plans.  One had 5 different slow cooker recipes for a total of 10 meals.  The other had a variety of 5 different recipes for 10 more meals. Customizing the meal plans was really easy.  I had to drop and drag the recipes to a box and download the meal plan and the labels.  

When you download and print off the meal plan it includes:

Each recipes with the ingredients and cooking directions for a single meal and assembly prep for 2 meals and cooking instructions for cooking the meal from the freezer.

Complete shopping list by recipe

Complete shopping list by store section

Freezer meal prep day shopping list by recipe

Freezer meal prep day shopping list by store section

Meal assembly instructions and precook and chop instructions

Assembly by recipe instructions

The labels are also printable and include the name of each recipe, thawing and cooking instructions, and a slot to record the date that you prepared the meal.

I used the complete shopping list by store section so that I would have everything I needed for each recipe including the suggested sides.  I also took along the shopping list by recipe page. When I arrived at the store, there were not any roasts that were a good price, so I eliminated the ingredients for the recipe that used roasts.

I decided to go ahead and make everything as soon as I got home from shopping.  I chose to do one recipe at a time following the instructions on the recipe page for 2 meals for each recipe.  In about 2 1/2 hours I had made 18 meals, 2 of each of the following:

Apple BBQ Pork Chops 
Chicken Taco Bake
Lazy Lasagna Bake
Meatball Sliders
Triple Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Potatoes

I ended up putting 17 meals in the freezer and we ate one of the Apple BBQ Pork Chop meals for supper that night.  Of those 17 meals I still have 5 left.  We liked all of the recipes except for one. A few of the recipes we enjoyed but I would tweak just a little because of personal preference such as adding more sauce to the Lazy Lasagna Bake.  I found the process to be very easy.  I think a lot of thought went in to the MyFreezEasy program.  I love all of the meal option and the ability to customize your plan and your serving size (2,4,6,or 8 servings) with the premium membership.  I love that the recipes are straight forward with easy to find ingredients.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  The recipes are not complicated to make. I like that the meal plans have the different lists so you can choose which way you like to shop and decide whether or not you want to buy just the freezer ingredients or the supplies for the whole meal.  I love that the labels clearly tell you what meal it is and the cooking instructions.

One thing that I have to get used to is remembering to take the meal out of the freezer to thaw.  I still am working on that!  There are lots of tips and tricks on the website for those that have never done freezer cooking to help make the process easier.  Even some quick thaw tips in case you forget to take your meal out of the freezer.

I am planning on doing another freezer cooking session.  I have all of my recipes picked out and downloaded waiting for our next shopping day.  I love the convenience of just being able to pull a meal out of the freezer and not having to think about what is for supper every night!

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click here.

* this post contains affiliate links.  I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I actually use and can recommend!